Free-bulb pappyshow


Speaking on a television morning show, T&TEC corporate communications manager Annabelle Brasnell sent my sugar level soaring with her saccharine rhetoric regarding the distribution of free energy-saving bulbs-a promise made by the Government in the last budget.

As usual, no one thinks things through in sweet T&T. Large ‘Covid’ crowds bombarded T&T’s payment centres to collect four bulbs in a box, which perhaps cost ten dollars. And Ms Brasnell, like Madam Santa Claus, tells us the bulbs will put money in our pockets.

In principle, it seems like it will. In reality, hell no. After all, bulbs in a household perhaps account for five per cent of electricity usage. Appliances and electronics account for the major part of the bill.

So, unless T&TEC provides us with energy- saving computers, televisions, appliances, AC units, etc, we will hardly see any significant reduction in our bills. And even if there is a reduction, it will go towards reducing or clearing our arrears.

In case T&TEC doesn’t know, a large percentage of the population does a juggling act with their meagre salaries and, due to the dwindling economy, some people don’t even have five cents to juggle.

I would imagine the initiative has reduced the payment of T&TEC bills at other authorised payment outlets, and increased the inflow of customers at T&TEC locations. But please, T&TEC, don’t make the bulbs giveaway available at other payment centres. This will create crowds at these locations.

Instead of the free-lightbulb pappyshow, with the potential to spread Covid-19, why didn’t the Government simply remove the old bulbs from the shelves and flood the market with tax-free energy-saving bulbs?

I, for one, am willing to trade in my fourbulbs- in-a-box for a food hamper. Perhaps one with a small ham or two turkey legs, even a wing.

The question we should be asking is: is T&TEC buttering us up for a rate increase? If so, candles and flambeaux, here I come.

S Mahabir
Port of Spain